SENDIA Award 2022-2023

What is SENDIA?

The acronym stands for SEND Inclusion Award. 

Why is it important? 

This award helps schools deliver high-quality education for pupils with SEND. Compliant with the SEND Code of Practice, the award framework focuses on removing barriers to learning through early identification, inclusive teaching, and leadership. It also allows us to evaluate the impact and improve classroom practice and pupil outcomes.  

The SENDIA Framework covers the following areas: 

Identifying SEN Students 

Use the "Assess, Plan, Do, and Review" method to find and help students with special needs. 

Pupil Outcomes

Ensure effective everyday teaching and learning for SEND pupils across the school. 


Create strong and effective leadership and management of SEND provisions. 

Professional Development 

Commit to high-quality, ongoing training, coaching, and mentoring for all staff across the school. 

Pupils and parental engagement 

Involve pupils and parents in decisions about SEND provision and support. 


Show that your service meets the requirements of the SEND Code of Practice and other important laws.  Andy Tylor (Award Verifier) 

Strengths discovered during the verification process 

The school is led by a leadership team with a clear moral purpose. Leaders have extensive knowledge and experience in special education. The drive from leaders to ensure inclusion is a core value has positively impacted on the school’s culture and ensures the vision is realised. Leaders are determined to address potential barriers for any student. As a result, the school’s provision for students with SEND is highly effective. 

WSF is an outwardly looking school, and its staff are reflective practitioners. Any initiatives introduced are rooted firmly in robust educational research.  The SENCO provides the Local Advisory Board (LAB) with a wealth of information. There is also regular communication with an appointed governor. As a result, the LAB has an excellent understanding of the school’s effectiveness relating to SEND provision.  Effective management by senior leaders has involved all staff, and there is evidence of effective distributed leadership. Members of the SENDIA working group, who represent different groups in the school, showed this. 

As a diagnostic tool, the SENDIA framework has been used to compare current practices and find places where they could be improved.  Leaders have developed a staff team that can support students with a variety of needs. Moreover, there are consistent pedagogical practices across the school, where quality-first teaching supports the learning of all students. The efficacy of this is robustly quality assured.  The staff does everything they can to help students get ready for the next step in their education.  When needed, staff appreciate that they can seek advice and support from the SENCO and the inclusion team. Induction processes are effective. Because of this, new staff implement the school’s teaching and learning policies. Also, the potential anxiety of moving to a new post and school is reduced. 

The school has a very well-developed pastoral team, including professional counselors, who are effective in supporting students. Also, transition arrangements make sure that students get the help they need as they move through school.  Students enjoy their learning and know that they can ask for support when they need to. They very much appreciated the patience and guidance provided by staff.  There is an effective safeguarding culture. Students feel safe and trust adults to help them with any issues. They feel that the staff genuinely care. This was also reflected in the parents’ testimonials.  Parents are fully involved in their children’s education. Because of this, they recognise that they work in a true partnership with the school.  The school’s practices are underpinned by a range of policies and procedures. 

The Principal’s Comments 

We are extremely proud to receive this accreditation as recognition of our commitment to SEND. As part of the GEMS family of schools, we are extremely proud that we continue to embody the ambition that all students have the right to a high-quality education. Our Assistant Head for Inclusion has led the entire team at GEMS Winchester Fujairah in developing an approach and commitment to our most vulnerable students. The recommendations will serve as the foundation for future planning, ensuring that SEND and inclusion are embedded in all aspects of school life and supported by a positive school culture, policies, and day-to-day practices that will support improved progress, collaboration, and partnership with parents. 

Head of Inclusion

The award process, while rightfully challenging, demanding, and at times testing in its very nature, was an incredible journey for all stakeholders in our school. The journey has meant that our students, the most important stakeholders in any educational setting, now benefit from the best possible provision in every area of academy life-a goal that was always within our sights, but one that the award process helped us to realise through a clear focus on specific standards. When reflecting on the 15-month process with the award in our hands, and analysing the development of our provision, we are able to say with confidence that the SEND Inclusion Award was a worthwhile and valuable experience for all.